Where Do You Write?

Each person’s writing process is different, which is why you still might fail to write a book even if you’re following all the advice you’ve found on people’s blogs. So much of writing life, and freelance life, and life in general, is finding what works for you. And that might be very different from what works for someone else.

A lot of freelancers like coworking spaces because it helps them not to get lonely, for example. Personally, I don’t get lonely. I can’t remember ever having the feeling. So I don’t do coworking, because about 80% of why I’m a freelancer is so that I don’t have to talk to Other Humans all day.

Recently, however, I have discovered that a change of scenery from time to time can be helpful. So I haven’t started coworking, but I have started working from the garden centre café.  Read more

Why You Might Want A Co-Author, And How To Find One

Cropped image of two people's hands at a table with coffees and pastry snacks, one person picking up their espresso while the other is writing in a notebook, possibly taking down an interview

The other day someone on Twitter asked me how I’d found a co-author for Windows Forensics Cookbook and I realised it might make a good blog post.

I hadn’t planned on co-writing a book. I hadn’t even planned on writing a book about digital forensics, but the publishers who approached me really wanted me to. I said no several times before eventually saying yes on the condition that I could have a co-author to write it with me.  Read more

How I Plan My Books

The thing about writing advice is that I don’t want to give it. Partly because I only have one book out so far, and partly because I think the process is probably different for everyone. What I do know though is that when I started writing my first book, I looked around for ages trying to find ideas.

I’d never been much of planner when it came to essays or books or papers. I was much more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type. But last year was tumultuous and I needed some kind of plan or the book would never have been written. So I thought I’d show it to you in case it’s of use.  Read more

Finding Time To Write Your Book

I’ve been thinking a bit recently about all the things I do with my life. Starting the ‘How Do You Fit It All In?‘ series has made me realise how changeable my weeks are, even within the themed routine I set myself.

It’s been interesting as well to work out how to get back into doing everything after taking almost a year off work. I wasn’t completely idle, of course, but 2017 was a lot less productive work-wise than most of my years. And yet still I managed to publish a book.

So if you want to write a book, where do you find the time?  Read more

Scar’s Pet Words

I read a lot. I also make a lot of notes about the books I read. Some of these turn into reviews on here; others just languish in my notebooks for years. Some are especially meaty quotes or things I want to think about later.

Some are just beautiful words.

This is a post that’s going to be updated over and over again, I’m sure. At the moment my Beautiful Words I’ve Found In Books list goes something like this.
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Drafting A Query Letter To A Publisher

The “Hello please buy my book” letter is one of the most nervewracking things you’re going to have to write. But you do have to do it, unless you want to go the self-publishing route, because otherwise your book’s going to linger in your archives for so long that it’ll end up being out of date.

One of the most annoying things when you’re trying to get your book published is how vague a lot of the advice is. “Find a publisher, send a query letter, get a book deal.” Um, yeah. I know. But, like, how?

Now I’m not saying I’ve got this all figured out, but I have one published book under my belt so far, and the query letter I sent to a publisher didn’t get a negative response (though they did ask for a little more detail, but that’s in the outline rather than the email itself… more on outlines in a future post).

So here’s the text of the email I sent them, with details redacted but otherwise intact.  Read more

Finding A Publisher For Your Book

In January 2017, I got an email from a publisher. They asked if I wanted to write a book about digital forensics. I said no. They asked again. I said no again. They kept asking more and more nicely, and offering me more and more things in exchange. I kept saying no. I wasn’t trying to negotiate a higher price, I just really didn’t want to write a digital forensics textbook.

In the end I said yes if I could have a co-author. I found Oleg Skulkin via Twitter, and we signed contracts and started writing a book together. Eventually, Windows Forensics Cookbook was born.

Unfortunately everything didn’t go quite how I’d expected.  Read more

First Steps In Digital Forensics – What Would You Like To See?

Last year I wrote a book. It’s called Windows Forensics Cookbook and I didn’t really want to write it, but I’m glad I did because now I know I can. It was a little too technical for my liking, really: I would have liked to have written something meatier in terms of text, and less screenshotty.

So this year I’m writing another book. With a working title of First Steps In Digital Forensics, it will be aimed at people who want to get into the industry. Whether you’re a student of a related discipline, a professional looking to switch industries, or just someone who’s intrigued by the field and wants to know what it’s really like, this book will have something for you.

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